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RAM Charger 8 HTML Manual


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If you have any trouble with the installation or operation of RAM Charger, the following discussion of problems and solutions should help you get back on track. Any addendum or clarifications to this material will be found in the
RAM Charger Release Notes document on the distribution disk. If you cannot resolve a problem, please call or send us e-mail. Technical support is free to all registered users.


Questions & Answers

Why do I see a message stating "RAM Charger was unable to start" when restarting my computer?

This is usually due to an incomplete installation, but may be due to damaged files. In either case reinstalling RAM Charger is usually the solution. To install, you must use the Installerprogram on the distribution disk. During installation, several files are copied to your startup disk and then configured for correct operation. For a list of all files, see the Files installed on startup disksection.

Why do I see a message stating that "RAM Charger failed to start because its serial ID is in use on another computer"?

Each copy of RAM Charger has a unique serial ID and is licensed to run on one computer at a time. You must buy and install a separate copy of RAM Charger, each with its own serial ID, on each computer you wish to use it on, at the same time.

Why is a yellow traffic signal flashing over the apple menu?

This does notindicate that anything is wrong. It is simply an early warning signal that RAM Charger provides when free memory is running low. This allows you to plan ahead and avoid running out completely at an awkward moment. The level of free memory which triggers the yellow caution icon is adjustable. It may also be turned off altogether, if you wish. To find out how to make this adjustment, see the Low memory early warning level paragraph in the General Settingssection of this manual. For additional information, refer to the section on Running out of memory.

Why does the starting memory size of a RAM Charged application not change after I change its minimum or preferred size?

Changing the minimum and/or preferred size does affect the starting memory size for someapplications when RAM Charged. However, the starting memory size of a RAM Charged application should be changed within the RAM Charger Application Settingswindow, and this setting will often be unrelated to the application's minimum and preferred sizes. See the section on starting memory sizefor more details.

What can I do if an application runs slower than I would like when it is RAM Charged?

Some applications have to work harder when they try to do the same task in a smaller amount of memory, so there can be a trade-off between memory and speed. In such a case, you may be able to increase performance by giving the application a larger starting memory size while keeping the benefits of being RAM Charged. See the section on Advanced RAM Charger settingsfor more about changing this and other settings of an application.

You should not generally see a slow-down when combining RAM Charging with compressed application files, but it may happen in some unusual cases. Depending on how your system is configured, some applications can slow down if their resource files are compressed (with or without being RAM Charged). The possibility of this is increased if the application is running in a small partition (which RAM Charger encourages). If you do find an application that seems slower, and it has been compressed with a disk, file, or resource compression product, one thing that might help is to expand the application, and configure your compression program to leave it expanded.

If a slow-down does seem to be related to using files on disk, there are other software adjustments you can make in order to improve performance. For example, you can increase your system's disk cache size (from the Memory control panel) and/or a compression product's cache or buffer size (which can improve performance in general).

What can I do if my computer makes unusual disk noise in some situations?

A few situations have been found, with particular application/ document combinations when memory is tight, that cause increased activity on the hard disk. Our tests have not found performance and interactive response to be drastically reduced by this, so you may wish to ignore it. However, if the noise is distracting or if you are operating on battery power (when any disk access is undesirable) we have found that increasing the starting memory size of the application by 100K or 200K can eliminate the extra activity. See the section on Advanced RAM Charger settingsfor more about changing the starting memory sizeof an application.

What can I do if an application which is working fine suddenly becomes sluggish in operation when I open another document or begin a complicated operation?

If you push an application past the limits which you have used before, sluggish operation could be due to running low in a specialized block of memory even though there is free memory available. If so, simply quitting and restarting the application can automatically reconfigure the application to work better at this new level if the Auto-adjust reserves option is enabled in the application's RAM Charger settings. See the section on Reserved memory areas for more details.

If I come across an application that doesn't work well when RAM Charged, do I have to make a choice between running either RAM Charger or this application on my computer?

NO! You can easily tell RAM Charger not to RAM Charge one application independently of all others. Just open the RAM Charger Application Settings window, select the desired application, and un-check the RAM Chargedsetting. However, with a little adjusting, you may be able to achieve effective RAM Charging of new applications that initially have trouble. See the section on Breaking in new applications.

What can I do when the Finder is unable to keep open a window or control panel--even the RAM Charger Heads-up display--because there is "not enough memory"?

Sometimes the System memory, used by the Finder on your Mac, cannot accommodate a current need (even if there is lots of free memory, overall). Making more memory available to the Finder in this situation requires that you close windows or quit programs--in the most extreme cases, you may need to restart the computer. Usually, closing the most recent windows or programs opened does the job, but there is no sure way to tell. The problem is due to the way the Finder and other system tasks allocate memory (which must be contiguous with the existing main system memory block or heap). The simple fact that some free memory is available does not avoid the problem by itself--the memory must be in a specific location. This can happen whether or not RAM Charger is installed. Even though RAM Charger actually reduces the potential for such occurrences (but cannot eliminate them altogether), some users might see this more often after installing RAM Charger because it allows other programs to access all of the fragmented blocks of memory more effectively than before. The section on Blocking expansion of system memorygive more details on this situation. Refer to the Avoiding running out of System/Finder memorysection to learn how to reduce the problem.

What can I do if I need to select an application in the RAM Charger Application Settings window, but the name of the disk it's on is dimmed and unavailable in the "Disk" pop-up menu?

This might occur when the disk is being shared from a file server using a foreign or out-of-date file format. You can select a program on such a disk by using a Directory Dialog Box which is displayed after choosing Select Other Applicationfrom the Filemenu.

What if I can list the programs on the disk I wish to select from but the program I'm looking for doesn't show up on the list?

First, note that RAM Charger is only able to RAM Charge memory for application programs, not desk a ccessories. (There are some fully featured desk accessories that you might think of as full applications, but they cannot be RAM Charged and thus are not listed.) Second, there may be cases when some applications on a disk cannot be listed (for example, when memory is limited or when application files have been compressed with a file compression product in a way that makes it difficult to detect them during the search). In any case, for any program that is not listed right there in the RAM Charger Application Settingswindow, choose Select Other Applicationfrom the Filemenu to find and select it.


Getting help

Balloon Helpprovides a description of each element in the RAM Charger windows. To see the help text, activate Balloon Helpand point to the element in question. To activate Balloon Help, either click the Balloon Helpicon found in each of the windows or select Show Balloonsfrom the Helpmenu. For more information about using help balloons, select About Balloon Helpfrom the Helpmenu or see the Apple Macintosh Reference orMacintosh User's Guidethat came with your computer or system software.

The complete documentation for RAM Charger (including this reference manual) is copied to your startup disk during installation. So, you may read it on- screen while you are working. A Read Me First document might have late-breaking information which is not in the reference manual.


Bugs? What bugs?


RAM Charger is intended to be as ubiquitous and commonly used as the Finder, so we continue to make every effort to ensure that it is not only bulletproof but a pleasure to use. That's why any suggestions or concerns which you might have are critically important to us. We appreciate your input not only on the operation of the software itself, but also on the documentation, help balloons, and every aspect of the look and feel of the product as a whole. If you find anything wrong with the product, please let us know immediately so that we may find a speedy solution.


RAM Charger

To temporarily remove RAM Charger from your system, restart your computer and press the shiftkey immediately when the RAM Chargericon is displayed at the bottom of the screen. (You may release the shift key when you hear a beep or see a red "X" over the icon, to avoid affecting any other extensions that follow.) RAM Charger will not be functional until the next time you restart.

To disable RAM Charger for an extended period, either use one of the available system extension manager products or simply move the RAM Chargerfile out of the Extensionsfolder (put it on the desktop or make an inactive folder for this--one called Extensions (Disabled)is commonly used for this). Whenever you move files in or out of the Extensions folder, you must then restart the computer for the change to take effect. A similar procedure may be used to disable More About This Mac, which is kept in the Control Panels folder when active.

To remove RAM Charger completely from a startup disk, see the section on Removing or de-installing RAM Charger.


Technical support

RAM Charger technical support is available by e-mail. Please provide the following information when you contact us, so that we can help with your problem:

  • The RAM Charger serial ID and version number (open the RAM Charger Application Settings window and select About RAM Charger Settings from the Apple menu to see these at the bottom of the Aboutwindow).
  • The Macintosh model and System software version being used.
  • The steps you take which recreate the problem.
  • Also, if you call, it's helpful to have your computer ready for reference.

Contact Jump Development Group via e-mail to RAMCharger (at) RAMCharger.com. Or, visit our World Wide Web site at <http://www.RAMCharger.com> for the latest information.


RAM Charger

Registered users will be notified of the availability of major upgrades. Minor updates are available free for downloading from the major networks. For the latest update information check the RAM Charger web page <http://www.RAMCharger.com>.


(RTroubleA -- 03/10/98)

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Please direct corrections and comment to RAMCharger (at) RAMCharger.com

Copyright © 1995-98 Jump Development Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Jump, OptiMem, RAM Charger, and More About This Mac are trademarks of Jump Development Group, Inc. Apple and Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective holders.